French multinational retailer Carrefour, together with GNVERT, a subsidiary of the ENGIE Group (international provider of power, natural gas, energy services) have inaugurated a public natural gas vehicle station at La Courneuve (Seine-Saint-Denis), in the Paris region.
GNVERT, which for almost 20 years has been the leading company in France for the distribution of alternative fuels, and Carrefour are thus materialising their collaboration in favour of the development of biomethane fuel in the road haulage sector for goods. ENGIE is consolidating its position as leader of mobility solutions, by offering a range of solutions for more fluid, cleaner and smarter mobility.
Pioneers in France, Carrefour and GNVERT, back in 2013, innovated and tested the use of biomethane fuel (Bio-CNG) for the road haulage of goods. Bolstered by the success of the tests carried out, Carrefour has decided to accelerate the deployment of these clean and quiet vehicles with the goal, by the end of 2017, of opening 9 service stations allowing 200 trucks to deliver to 250 urban stores in Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Bordeaux and Lille. The station of La Courneuve is the first to be inaugurated.
The choice of biomethane is part of Carrefour’s ambitious transport policy which aims by 2025 to achieve a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions per pallet carried compared to 2010. The trucks using this biofuel have shown an excellent environmental performance with a 75% reduction in CO2 emissions, no fine particle pollution and a 50% reduction in noise pollution.
A model of the circular economy, biomethane (a renewable natural gas (RNG)) is also used to recycle locally part of the biowaste which is collected from the stores. By encouraging the use of a product that cannot be relocated, Carrefour has chosen an energy that creates jobs in France and supports the farming sectors. Finally, it is an energy transition choice which speeds up user independence in relation to fossil fuels. To this end, Carrefour has chosen to open the stations to all other transport actors who choose to use biomethane.
To support Carrefour in this transformation, GNVERT has adapted its range of solutions, exemplified at the new station at La Courneuve where 60 Carrefour trucks are able to refuel every day. Ideally located close to the major routes of the Ile-de-France, the A86 and A1, the station is open to the public and is also designed to supply domestic refuse trucks and coaches running on natural gas.
In addition to its location and a power of 2,000 Nm3/hour allowing any type of vehicle to refuel in just a few minutes, the ENGIE La Courneuve station also supplies liquid nitrogen for cooling refrigerated trailers, also limiting the environmental impact of this use.
For Florence Batchourine, Carrefour France Supply Chain Director: “The reduction in CO2 emissions and fine particle pollution is a major issue for society and we must act collectively to overcome this challenge. That is why Carrefour and ENGIE are deploying biomethane widely in France and are opening up their refuelling network to all transport actors.”
Philippe Van Deven, GNVERT CEO, stated: “The inauguration of this station marks a new stage in the development of alternative fuels in France, and in particular that of biomethane fuel. Carrefour is the first actor to have committed itself so resolutely to using biomethane fuel in France and in Europe. We are very proud to be able to support them with innovative solutions that open up new perspectives for the energy transition of fuels.”